Airport Hacks for Busy Travelers

If you fly frequently for business and/or pleasure, you know how tiring, annoying, and frustrating the airport and flight experience can be. Take some of the negative out of air travel with these clever hacks.

Ziploc Bags

Stow several of these in your carry-on luggage. They have many helpful uses, like storing snacks, stowing earbuds, and securing small liquids for the airport security check-through. You can even turn you phone into a mini-TV on the flight – place it in a Ziploc bag and then hang it from your table tray while it’s in the upright position.


Screenshot the email you receive with your ticket/flight info and set it as your lock screen. This gives you easy instant access for check-in.

Hydrate Inexpensively

Bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it in a water fountain after you go through TSA. Invest in a collapsible version to save space. For long flights, bring along frozen water (or other frozen drinks). Be sure the liquid is frozen solid to ensure passage through TSA. On shorter flights, when offered complimentary soft drinks, ask for the whole can – the attendant will usually comply.

Luggage ID

Tag your luggage with something highly identifiable so it will be easy to spot on the luggage carousel – like a brightly colored ribbon, scarf, or tie.


Review My TSA before you travel to learn about wait times at the airport you’re traveling from. Because more people are right-handed, the majority tend to head in that direction. So, when choosing a line at TSA go to the far left. Before you get to the front of the line, place your belts, jewelry, and loose change in your jacket, purse, laptop bag, or other carry-on to prevent delays. For many frequent travelers a TSA Pre-check membership is well worth the investment, and dispenses with the need for these actions.


Lines dealing with overbookings and flight cancellations can be long and frustrating. Try calling the 800 number for the airline instead. You can often get the same service from the airline rep on the phone that you would receive from the agent at the gate. If you have time to kill, try the GateGuru app to locate good food or cool activities within the airport’s various concourses. It can also identify viable Wi-Fi options.


Bring a sweater of light throw to stay warm in chilly airports and planes. You can also fold it and use it as a pillow/head rest.


Face it. Airports are filthy. Everything has been touched by millions of hands — washed, unwashed, sticky, sweaty and dirty. Fight germs. Bring along disinfecting wet wipes or a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use periodically while you’re traveling.


Before purchasing your airline ticket, check sites online, like, to research the best seats before you book.

Charging Electronics

A portable phone charger will keep your smartphone live and help you avoid crowded charging stations. If you need to plug in a laptop though, bring along a power strip with both plug extensions and USB outlets to turn any outlet into a power station. This is especially helpful when traveling with companions. Plus, if all the outlets are full, with a multi-plug adapter, someone will be willing to share their outlet with you.

Lost and Found

Forgot your phone charger? Check the lost and found. Typically, items left unclaimed for 90 days are accessible. Tell the truth and ask if there’s one available that’s up for grabs.

Airport Commute

Take the stress out of traveling to and from the airport, dealing with parking and traffic and getting to your destination on time by hiring a Toms River Car Service.